Dogs, Cats and Other Phenomena

Sunday, November 13, 2005

The Big Scare

I've been wondering how much Nikki weighed and wanted to get her on a scale soon. The good news is that Nikki weighs 53 lbs. and is still growing. (She won't reach her full height until she's a year old and it will take another year or two to reach her full weight. Nikki will be a BIG dog!) The bad news is that I had to rush her to the vet today, so that's how I know how much she weighs.

When I got up this morning, I immediately saw that Nikki was acting very subdued. Since she sometimes is a bit slow to wake up, I didn't think too much about it. But an hour later, she was still very subdued, almost as if she was depressed. She didn't eat anything, but she doesn't always eat her kibble right away. But when she turned her nose up at a treat, that's when I knew something was wrong. I mean, this kid doesn't say no to a treat.

I threw the ball around for her a bit, thinking perhaps she was bored. She perked up a bit but didn't play very much and didn't run hard. And again, wouldn't take any treats or food.

Yesterday, while she was in the back yard alone, she had gotten into the construction crew's stuff and shredded a grocery plastic bag. When I came outside to get her and saw what she had done, I was very worried. After all, if she had swallowed part of a plastic bag, it could kill her. So I put that together with her lethargy and appetite loss and figured I better call the vet.

They advised me to bring her in right away, so I did. Jan and I were supposed to go to the movies this afternoon, so I called her and told her what was happening. I didn't know if I had to cancel or not. We ended up canceling it right then. I was bummed about that because I haven't been to a movie since I took my mom to the movies in 2003.

Nikki sure perked up at the vet's. All those people and smells! The vet looked her over. I asked if I was overreacting and he said no. Anytime a Golden Retriever pup doesn't eat, that's cause for concern. They x-rayed her but plastic doesn't always show up. The doctor only saw gas. He gave her a shot to settle her tummy and I'm supposed to pill her too. If her appetite doesn't come back by Tuesday morning, I'm to take her in and they'll do a barium. Vet bill was almost $170. (Plus Saturday I took Callie to the vet, today I took Nikki to the vet and tomorrow I take Callie in again for radiation.)

I also called Rock Bottom Construction and left a message, asking that they get all their stuff out of my back yard. My back yard should be a safe haven for Nikki. I really try hard to have a safe environment for her so this was rather upsetting.

I bet it is just an upset stomach ... looking back, I bet she had too many treats yesterday. I took treats on her walk as part of her training. Next time I'll bring kibble.

But talk about stressful! And Callie is so thin!! Not good. She isn't eating her regular food. She did want the cooked chicken that I bought today so I fed her some. Not too much as I didn't know if it would upset her stomach. The other 2 aren't eating much either. Food is going to waste.

The good thing that happened today was that Nikki (who seems a bit better) was so much more docile! I put on her leash and we went into the den. Max was sleeping on my mom's throw blanket which was on the sofa. Nikki didn't even see him at first. She sat at my feet and played with her bed. (The one she ate.) She turned it over and sat on it. She was pretty good and for the first time, Max, Nikki - and also Callie - and I shared the den. Sometimes Nikki would get the urge to chase the cats but I held on to her. I hope to try it again tomorrow! I thoroughly enjoyed this quieter, calmer Nikki. Even though she liked the smell of the chicken, she actually didn't give me a hard time while I was eating my chicken and rice. Nice to get through a meal without having to shove her out of your lap.

Nikki still hasn't eaten kibble yet but she did eat a small portion of a healthy treat.

Wish us all luck!


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